Viewable With ANY Browser

Note: My Web pages are best viewed with style sheets enabled.

Unrated

My Garden Diary

November and December 2017

Copyright © 2017 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017
July-August 2017
September-October 2017

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. Dates without years, however, may refer to entries on prior pages for the same year.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
10 Dec

Overcast, hazy sun, and mild

Temp: 64-77
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 6%
Wind: 4-15

Rain —
This season: 0.05
Days since last: 13

Southern California is experiencing an extreme Santa Ana condition. Over the past five days, the relative humidity did not exceed 15% at any time of the day with the more recent three days not exceeding 10%. Wind gusts over the past six days reached 35 miles per hour (mph) and several times even exceeded 50 mph. As a result of the extreme dryness and wind, the surviving rooted cutting of lavender finally died. The dry winds also "fried" the flowers on my spoon-flowered chrysanthemum (C. morifolium) and whipped around one of my Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium) such that the plant broke from its roots at its base; I will take cuttings from others of this plant in the spring to replace it.

Raked many leaves in front again. Most went into the green trash bin for the county's composting program, but I also use some to mulch the front lawn where the winds had scoured away the existing mulch. The wind removed almost all of The Tree's seeds from the patio in back, leaving some significant twigs which I used to help stabilize the mulch in front.

1 Dec

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 59-80
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 23%
Wind: 1-12

Rain —
This season: 0.05
Week: 0.01

I am quite concerned about the weather. By this date last year, we already had over an inch of rain and 6 hours of winter chill. I fear we are into a new draught, and there will be insufficient chill for my peach tree to bear fruit.

Raked many, many leaves from in front of my house. The front lawn was already well mulched, so the leaves went into the green trash bin to be collected for the county's composting program.

Moved the Schefflera arboricola from the breakfast room's greenhouse window into the larger pot that had contained the now-dead Cordyline in the living room (15 Nov).

Picked and juiced 6 lemons from my dwarf lemon tree. I got about a pint of juice.

22 Nov

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 74-91
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 14%
Wind: 2-15

Rain —
This season: 0.04
Days since last: 79

During grocery shopping late last week, we bought a fresh pineapple (Ananas comosus), the only edible bromeliad. Today, when I started to cut it up, I removed the top and put it up to root. I did this successfully once before, and it grew quite large. Once when we entertained, however, it was in the way. Putting it outside resulted in its death. In southern California, a pineapple is definitely a house plant.

Repotted the rooted lavender cutting that sprouted after I thought it died (8 Oct). Unlike the rooting medium — only coarse sand and peat moss — the new potting medium contains nutrients and a trace of compost.

Put up cuttings of 'George Taber' azaleas (19 Nov). If these do not succeed, I will buy a plant to extend the azalea hedge in the camellia bed. However, I read that azalea cuttings are often successful.

19 Nov

Mostly cloudy, some hazy sun, mild

Temp: 56-72
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 10%
Wind: 2-14

Rain —
This season: 0.04
Days since last: 76

By this time last year, we had not yet experienced any winter chill; so I am not concerned that we again have had zero hours at or below 45°F. However, nearby mountain areas have already had freeze warnings.

Last week, I drove to the Theodore Payne Foundation nursery, which specializes in California native plants. I bought a 1 gallon bush anemone (Carpenteria californica), which I planted on left (west) side of My Hill today. There already is another one on the right side. Just climbing My Hill exhausted me.

An old limb of a Goodwin Creek Grey lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) in my circular bed died. (No, this is not the same plant that is dying overall.) I cut it out.

I surrender. Two camellias in back died: C. japonica 'Kramer's Supreme' in the camellia bed and C. sasanqua 'White Doves' in the rose bed. These were replacements of earlier camellias that died. I removed the dead shrubs and will not replace these. I will leave the space where I removed 'White Doves' alone; there are other shrubs nearby, including an 'Iceberg' rose and an informal hedge of dwarf Burford holly. In the camellia bed, I will plant another 'George Taber' azalea (Rhododendron indica) to wrap the azalea hedge around the bed to the house.

15 Nov

Mostly clear with a few scattered clouds, sunny, and mild

Temp: 64-81
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 21%
Wind: 0-8

Picked a tangelo from my tree (Citrus reticulata × paradisi) and ate it with lunch. It was sweet and juicy. After lunch, I removed a few dead, crossing, and stunted branches from the tree.

A few days ago, I noticed that the potted Cordyline (possibly C. fruticosa) in my living room had died. The top — with leaves still green — had fallen off onto the floor. When I scraped the trunk, there was no green. I will replace it with the Schefflera arboricola that is currently in my greenhouse window. The Schefflera has grown too tall for its current location.


Rain —
This season: 0.04
Days since last: 72

5 Nov

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 54-71
Winter chill: 0.0 hours
Humidity: 50%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
This season: 0.04
Days since last: 62

Yesterday:
  • Spread gypsum around the dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') in front under the living room windows. The plants never seemed to recover from when the house was tented to exterminate termites and when the exterior was then painted (both more than a year ago).
  • Raked leaves in front, using them to mulch the front lawn and over the gypsum for the holly bushes.

Today, removed the shade cloth from the greenhouse window. I will put it back up in the spring, when morning sun starts to shine onto the plants there.

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
September-October 2017
July-August 2017
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


Valid HTML 4.01